TreeHugger Jasmin has talked before about the logic of only powering hotel rooms when you are there. It turns out that hotels consume energy at a much higher rate than similarly-sized residential buildings due, in part at least, to the habit that many of us have of leaving lights on, running the AC, and even leaving windows open as we do so. (And there are sadly only a few hotels running on 100% renewables.) A new innovation hopes to change all that, offering sophisticated energy management without the need for any rewiring.
While high-tech energy management in modern new-build hotel rooms is promising, it is much more challenging to retrofit such technology to existing hotels—especially when those hotels are unlikely to want to shut down for major repairs unless absolutely necessary.
Zenros, a Danish start-up, claims to have the perfect solution for this problem—launching a solar-powered system that can be retrofitted wirelessly to any existing hotel room—drawing on both natural and artificial light for power—and then communicating with every appliance in the room, including minibar, doors, drape controls, lights, and TVs.
Forbes reports that these solar-powered energy management systems may save as much as 35% on heating, lighting and power costs when compared to existing sensor technology. (A pretty impressive claim!) Interestingly, for a system that is so ideal for retrofits, one of the first real world applications appears to be installation in a brand new 6,000 room hotel in Quatar.